Many of today’s farming systems and practices are unsustainable warns the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust ahead of its conference, The Future of Food, Farming and Nature, on Saturday 14 October at Oxford Brookes University.

75% of land in the UK is currently being farmed, but intensive, modern techniques are a primary cause of the steady decline in wildlife in the country. The debate will look at the future of the countryside for farming and wildlife and the impacts of food pricing, subsidy and simple farm practices.

Chairing the debate is leading economist Professor Dieter Helm. Professor Helm is currently chair of the government’s natural capital committee and is due to report at the end of September 2017 on the framework for the government’s new 25-year plan for the natural environment.

The Future of Food, Farming and Nature Conference will be held at Oxford Brookes University from 1.30pm on Saturday 14 October. It is free and open to the public, but booking is essential via bbowt.or.uk/conference2017.

Speakers at the conference will include:

Minette Batters, NFU deputy president and a livestock and arable farmer from Wiltshire.

Ian Boyd, a successful conservation farmer from the Cotswolds who has a Pasture-for-Life herd of cattle on his organic mixed farm.

Ellie Brodie, the Wildlife Trusts’ senior policy manager, who is campaigning to improve agricultural policy to benefit wildlife.

Bill Stow a former senior civil servant in the Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) who led on environmental policy for several years.